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The Tale of the Three Puppies

April 19, 2011

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived in the magical land of Bethesda, Maryland.  When the little girl was young, her most constant companion was a stuffed animal dog that the little girl had creatively named ‘Puppy.’  Puppy was a straggly sort of dog, with glassy brown eyes and clumpy fur.  And the little girl loved Puppy, and in its own stuffed animal way, Puppy loved the little girl.

Beloved companion and adventurer

The Hero of Our Tale

Life is not without mishaps, however.  One day, the little girl was taken to The Golden Arches Inn, where she was fed a sumptuous feast of fried potatoes, beef, and soft cheese.  After her meal, the little girl grew quite drowsy, and her mother and father had to carry her to their carriage, for she was fast asleep.  Puppy was left behind on the bench, forgotten and alone.  Thus, the first Puppy passed from the little girl’s life.

The little girl grew quite despondent without her companion, and so her mother and father gifted a second Puppy to the little girl.  At first, the little girl was cold to the replacement, but little by little she began to love this Puppy too, and his fur became worn.  Life is not without mishaps however.  One day, when the little girl was in the far away kingdom of Austria, she decided to go swimming in the man-made pond with her Puppy.  After swimming, the little girl noticed that Puppy did not dry with a towel like she did.  He remained quite wet, and had begun to smell.  So the little girl decided to dry Puppy with her magical wind device.  She turned on the device, and was pleased to notice that the hot air that blew out of it seemed to be warming her beloved companion.  The little girl held the device right on the fur of Puppy, to dry him more quickly.  The stink of burning plastic began to fill the room.  The girl looked down in dismay: she had burnt a hole in her Puppy’s fur!   She began to cry.

But after the mother had reassured the little girl that Puppy would be alright, she dried her tears.  And the little girl loved Puppy all the more for the scars he bore, evidence of her love.

Life is not without mishaps however.  One day in autumn, the little girl decided to play pirates.   She decided that she would bury her treasure in the yard so she could make a treasure map and find it again.  Puppy was her best treasure, so she carefully placed her beloved companion in a shoebox, and kissed his nose as she closed the lid.  Using her father’s trowel, she dug a hole in the flowers, and put the box in the hole.   She then placed the torn up daffodils on the box in an X to mark the spot.  She went inside to create a treasure map, planning on making it tricky like a pirate so no one could find her treasure but her.  But the little girl was not a pirate, and come bedtime, she had completely forgotten about her map and her X marking the spot.

Puppy lay buried, waiting for the little girl to come, but she had forgotten him.  And so the second Puppy passed from the little girl’s life.  The little girl missed the Puppy a few days later, but could not remember where he had run off to.  And so the little girl cried and cried.  And her heart hardened into ice, and she decided that she would never love again.  It was too hard to have loved and lost.

Her mother and father gifted the little girl with another Puppy that winter.  This Puppy was soft and perfect; his fur had not been burnt away, his tails was fluffy, and he came with a collar with the girl’s address on it, so he could not be lost.  The little girl thanked her parents and tried to love the third puppy, but could not.  So Puppy stayed perfect, and the little girl had no stuffed animal companion.

Life is not without its small joys however.  One day in early spring, when the mother was putting in flowers in the garden, her trowel hit something hard.  The mother dug around it, and pulled out a disintegrating shoe box.  When the mother opened the lid, there was the second Puppy, dirty, ragged, but present, his glassy eyes reflecting the day’s sun.  The mother gently washed the Puppy, and dried him, and then gave him back to the little girl.  And when the little girl held him in her arms, her little heart melted.  She kissed him on the nose.  And so the second Puppy re-entered the girl’s life.

The little girl grew into a medium sized girl, and this medium sized girl grew into a young lady.  This young lady, as young ladies have a habit of doing, became a woman.  Women have no need of stuffed animals, of beloved companions, and so Puppy was prepared to once again say goodbye.  But the woman, remembering the tale of her three Puppies, kept him.

And they lived happily ever after, the Puppy tucked away on the bookcase in the woman’s room, a memento of once upon a time.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Diana Camosy permalink
    April 19, 2011 2:04 PM

    Okay, this is brilliant. It reminds me of my various security blankets over the years, and my set of teddy bears (named Chocolate, Cinnamon, Vanilla and Blueberry, after their colors…yes, one of them was blue).

  2. April 19, 2011 5:18 PM

    The tears! The tears that stream down my face! There are so many!

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